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PC Games Of 2015: Those Wot Could Conceivably Be Good

PC Games In 2015 And Beyond

Featured post

Survival games

Would this have been its own genre at the start of 2014? Probably not, but there’s no denying that the combination of mechanics – permadeath, the need to eat and find shelter, undirected open worlds – has created a gold rush. The result is a thousand identical games, few of them worth playing and even fewer of them finished. Still, there’s reason to think that 2015 will be the year the genre comes of age – here are a few of those to look for.

Edge of Space

Official site

Genre
Platformer, Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A 2D sandbox in the shape of Terraria, but one in which the alien world – that is, the environment itself – tries to reject your efforts to colonise it. You’ll need to maintain a breathable atmosphere in order to stop the world reclaiming your base. The game has been in Early Access since mid-2014 with mixed responses so far.

Edge of Space interview.
All Edge of Space posts.

Solarix

Official site

Genre
Shooter, Survival Game, First-Person
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Psychological horror in deep space, the only still-human remains of genetic tampering gone south and trapped on a space station dodging not only ex-friends but the definitely-not-evil corporation’s lethal clean up crew. An indie contender for the Alien: Isolation hole in 2015’s schedule.

Solarix interview.
All Solarix posts.

7 Days To Die

Official site

Genre
Shooter, Survival Game, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Another on the zombie survival pile, but 7DTD has focused on Minecraft-akin building and scavenging rather than the pure deadliness of its hordes and players. Buffs to the angry dead’s spawn rate and lethality at night mean a hunter/hunted cycle develops quickly.

7 Days To Die preview.
All 7 Days To Die posts.

DayZ

Official site

Genre
Shooter, Survival Game, Online, First-Person
Release date
12/31/2016
What is it?
It’s unlikely that a full 1.0 release of the depraved humanity sandbox will make it to us before 2016, but we should see it start to enter beta stages. That means a massive number of additional features and an engine overhaul.

DayZ preview.
DayZ feature.
All DayZ posts.

Dyscourse

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
It’s a survival game – yes, there’s lots of those – but Dyscourse is less about scrabbling for scraps in a wasteland and more about dealing with Walking Dead-style dramas and Oregon Trail-style group dynamics. It was successfully Kickstarted this year and the art looks beautiful.

All Dyscourse posts.

Kôna

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Surviving in snowy, freezing Northern Quebec with an adventure slant, there’s a demo build of this that was released as part of the successful Kickstarter. Alice enjoyed driving around in the snow and lamented not having access to a VR device, which the developers are targeting as the best way to experience it.

All Kôna posts.

Sheltered

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Another post-apocalyptic game but this time about trying to scratch a living for you and your family in the underground bunker that kept you safe. It’s stark and depressing, but a great new take on survival in a wasteland.

All Sheltered posts.

Stranded Deep

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Golly, people sure do love trying to survive in mostly deserted places after plane crashes. Stranded Deep doesn’t appear to have cannibals in it at least, instead making the action about skewering crabs with sticks, swimming through the ocean in search of wrecks, and sailing on rafts to avoid sharks. It’s pretty, and procedural, but it’ll need to find its own flavour of survival if it’s to, er, survive.

Stranded Deep review (early access).
Stranded Deep video.
All Stranded Deep posts.

Submerged

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
A first-person adventure game set in an ancient city that’s slowly sinking into the ocean. You’ve got a boat but are trapped there, scavenging in destroyed buildings to find survival materials and try to save your brother.

All Submerged posts.

The Long Dark

Official site

Genre
Survival Game
Release date
TBA
What is it?
The prettiest of the current survival crop, The Long Dark’s snowy fire-lit screenshots have been known to bring grown men to tears. It’s far earlier in development than its contemporaries but you wouldn’t know it from the surprising amount of polish.

The Long Dark video.
The Long Dark preview.
The Long Dark feature.
All The Long Dark posts.

White Night

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Adventure, Horror
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Inspired by Alone in the Dark – but not the shit bits, presumably – White Night sets you in an abandoned manor house cast in hard shadows, where you must solve light-based puzzles to progress, survive and unravel the house’s past. It looks great, though hopefully it has something new to do with light and shadow mechanics.

White Night review.
All White Night posts.

Before

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A strategy god game about prehistoric people surviving a brutal world of woolly mammoths and freezing winters, Before has been wowing anyone who has seen its screenshots on Twitter for around a year. Its creator, Bill Lowe, was recently hired by Facepunch Studios – makers of Garry’s Mod and Rust – so that he could devote his full attention to making the game a reality.

All Before posts.

Darkwood

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
Q3
What is it?
A slow-paced Teleglitch, a survival horror game by way of Ice-Pick Lodge; Darkwood is about top-down exploration of creepy woods, fighting off creepy crawlies and crafting the elements you need to defend yourself, but there’s a dash of surrealism that sets it apart from its rivals. Adam loves it.

Darkwood preview.
All Darkwood posts.

Eternal Winter

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
Q4
What is it?
An Early Access survival ga- no, where are you going, this one’s cool, I promise! See, you have a sleigh! AND FOUR HUSKIES. Four. Plus it’s more about resisting the ravages of nature at her coldest rather than any specific, killable threat.

Eternal Winter review (early access).
All Eternal Winter posts.

Life Is Feudal

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A survival MMO, more Wurm Online than DayZ, Life Is Feudal aims to simulate life and society in the middle ages. That means players need to work together to form towns and to take jobs – there are no weapons in the world except those forged by an in-game blacksmith, for example. Or at least, that’s the theory – it’s extremely early in development and it’s difficult to find stable, balanced servers that haven’t removed what few mechanics already exist for the sake of expediency.

Life Is Feudal preview.
All Life Is Feudal posts.

Proven Lands

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A sci-fi survival game set on an alien world, Proven Lands is different from its genre mates mainly by dint of having an AI storyteller that shapes your experience as you play. That should hopefully make the exploration of its world more than merely looking for scraps in the random number generator. Coupled with a voxel engine and promises of “archaeology”, this may stand out in a crowded genre.

All Proven Lands posts.

Rust

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Garry Newman was frustrated by the pace of development of DayZ and so he decided to make a game that played with similar concepts. The result was Rust, a multiplayer survival game built in Unity that quickly allowed for player-built housing and took on a flavour of its own. The Early Access release recently made the leap to a new version of Unity, bringing procedural worlds with it, but it’s still a long way from accomplishing its ambitions

Rust preview.
All Rust posts.

Sunless Sea

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Compared to most Early Access games, Sunless Sea’s sailing and story forms practically a finished game. There’s tens of hours of interactive fiction to discover, you can complete it, most of its main mechanics are complete, the combat has been refined through successive patches, and what’s left to do is mainly polish. We thought it had the Bestest Best Words of 2014, and you can see a roadmap for its remaining development here.

Sunless Sea review.
Sunless Sea video.
Sunless Sea preview.
Sunless Sea interview.
All Sunless Sea posts.

Survive The Nights

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
August 2015
What is it?
Even more ambitious than your average DayZ-em-up, Survive The Nights is aiming to have everything from homegrown food to trap-making to vehicles and seemed surprisingly far along during its highly successful Kickstarter.

All Survive The Nights posts.

The Dead Linger

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
What sets Dead Linger apart from the hordes of other zombie survival games? Heck knows. It’s set on a procedural planet, so that’s nice, but other than that it’s hunting through farmhouses, dying to as many bugs as zeds, and as early access as they come. What happens when there’s no more room on Steam and the zombie games roam the earth?

All The Dead Linger posts.

The Forest

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
One of a million early access survival games launched in 2014, but The Forest differentiates itself by being extremely pretty and already fun. Its cannibals are terrifying, its island is full of mysteries, and it’s worth taking a look at simply for the detailed environment, full of wildlife and physicsy-falling trees.

The Forest preview.
The Forest feature.
All The Forest posts.

The Stomping Land

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Or, at least, hopefully released. The Stomping Land is a cautionary tale for all manner of modern development methods. Mostly abandoned by developers and fans alike, maybe something more will come of the much-maligned original dino-survival game in 2015.

The Stomping Land preview.
All The Stomping Land posts.

DinoSystem

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
Q3
What is it?
In the “DayZ but with…” camp, dinosaurs are popular but in an even earlier state of development than zombies. DinoSystem is on IndieGogo and does have an Alpha you can buy into. They’re also planning on simulating the extinction level event that wiped them all out, as an end-game scenario.

Planet Centauri

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
In the mold of Starbound, Planet Centauri is a 2D platformer with all the expected building, creating and fighting. Screenshots have shown off rideable mechs and fishing across more varied landscapes than Terraria managed. As with every project of this sort, the end goals are extremely ambitious so we predict a long Early Access road.

Empyrion – Galactic Survival

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Early Access, Space
Release date
Q2
What is it?
An indie shot at the Elite formula, allowing for landing on planets on top of all the usual space trading, fighting and exploring. Not the prettiest, which might be a boon when it comes to actually realising these massive ambitions.

The Flame In The Flood

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Exploration
Release date
July 2015
What is it?
Exploring the flooded backwaters of America after a great catastrophe, this is a “roguelite” survival game about rafting between different abandoned islands. Plus, you have an adorable dog with you who’s much more talented at staying alive.

All The Flame In The Flood posts.

Salt

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
Q3
What is it?
John’s surprise of the year and containing the RPS-certified bestest best exploration. A survival game on the surface, but without the extreme difficulty and horror usually associated. It was more about finding interesting things while on the hunt for food and water. A walking simulator with a little bit of direction-nudging.

GAMENAME review.
Salt preview.
Salt feature.
All Salt posts.

Subnautica

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Set on an alien world, the story of a stranded scientist exploring the infinite sea of this new planet. Through development its transitioned through survival sandbox and creative game into something more exploratory, focusing on the feeling of playing as a scientist. Unknown Worlds (of Natural Selection) have put it into “earliest access” – giving the community an option to fund development even earlier than normal.

Subnautica review (early access).
All Subnautica posts.

Caffeine

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror
Release date
Q3
What is it?
Horror puzzling aboard a mysterious, abandoned space station with faintly ridiculous undertones – it’s made for mining coffee from spatial bodies for the hopelessly addicted human race. Janeway would be pleased.

All Caffeine posts.

Draugen

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Psychological horror set in Scandinavia, the official description calls it a journey into the “pitch black heart of Norwegian national romanticism.” Alright then. What that seems to translate to is spooky cabins, an empty wilderness and an unnatural terror of the open sea.

Draugen preview.
All Draugen posts.

Phantasmal

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror
Release date
Q3
What is it?
Combining roguelike procedural generation of a terrifying mansion with the scavenging, sneaking and brutal deaths of survival horror. Along with threatening serious bodily harm, creatures in Phantasmal slowly drain your sanity from their sheer horribleness, leaving you unable to defend yourself.

All Phantasmal posts.

Narcosis

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Horror, VR
Release date
Q3
What is it?
Deep-sea survival searching for oxygen, a way up and staying sane in the icy, dark depths. Stunningly pretty and more alien than most off-world games, the intense darkness and claustrophobia are madly creepy. Of course it’s designed for the Oculus Rift for maximum terror.

Narcosis preview.
All Narcosis posts.

Grave

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Horror
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Surreal horror straight out of Silent Hill, using light as a weapon and with a full story, Grave is attempting to have its narrative cake and eat it in online multiplayer too. Exactly where this balance will put it remains to be seen.

All Grave posts.

Resident Evil REmake HD

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Horror
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
The remake of a remake, this is the original Resident Evil’s Gamecube port re-up’d for new generation consoles and, next year, PC. It’s a classic and a good version of that classic, but will it find a place alongside RE4 HD and The Evil Within?

All Resident Evil REmake HD posts.

SOMA

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Horror
Release date
September 22nd 2015
What is it?
The next entry in Amnesia devs Frictional Games’ multi-stage plan to scare the entire populous of the earth to death, SOMA is set far beneath the sea in a research lab. Naturally the power’s off, freaky shit is going down and you’ve nothing but pathetic screams to protect yourself.

SOMA preview.
SOMA interview.
SOMA feature.
All SOMA posts.

Uncanny Valley

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Horror
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
2D survival horror reminiscent of Sole Survivor in art style but with more action and set within a massive facility in some remote, snowy wilderness. You’re the guard of this robotic research base and, predictably, it’s all going a bit wrong. There’s a demo been released over on the official site that shows off the developers’ focus on forcing the player to restart as little as possible.

All Uncanny Valley posts.

Project Zomboid

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, RPG
Release date
TBA
What is it?
One of the oldest Early Access games on the market, predating Steam’s popularising of the phrase, we’ve been posting about and playing it since mid 2011. It finally allowed multiplayer in 2014 with a massive NPC system and vehicles the major additions needed to close on 1.0

All Project Zomboid posts.

Starbound

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, RPG
Release date
TBA
What is it?
“Terraria in space” was a simple enough concept, but the Starbound team have grown far beyond their roots. A plot, sidequests and even more monsters, tiles and tools will be added on the road to 1.0

Starbound preview.
All Starbound posts.

Space Pirates And Zombies 2

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Nuts and bolts space exploring, upgrading and pew-pewing. Unapologetically still terribly named, it’s improving on every factor of the first game – more enemies, better AI, wars going on independent of the player and, ultimately, more ships to harvest for tasty, tasty parts.

All Space Pirates And Zombies 2 posts.

ADR1FT

Official site

Genre
Survival Game, First-Person, Space, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Waking up with no memory of the catastrophic event that caused your space station to suffer extreme damage, you play as the lone survivor attempting to ascertain what occured and stay alive long enough to be rescued. A terrifying, designed-for-VR, atmospheric oxygen-hunter and investigation, it features some of the prettiest space-wreckage to date.

Planets3

Official site

Genre
Survival, RPG
Release date
October 2015
What is it?
A Minecraft-ish RPG, where a pre-written but procedurally included plot guides the player across a solar system of cube-shaped planets. As is the genre’s wont, it’s highly ambitious and was Kickstarted to the tune of $300k, with everything from customisable motorbikes that levelled up with you to inter-planetary travel promised. A ‘pre-alpha’ was released to backers and those who pre-ordered in January.

All Planets3 posts.

Interstellar Rift

Official site

Genre
Survival, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Similar to the endless hyper-storm of space games, in that you fight, trade and explore your way across a galaxy. Interstellar has a heavier focus on survival, having to feed yourself and maintain your ship, which can be explored in first-person rather than being the character itself.

We Happy Few

Official site

Genre
Survival
Release date
June 2016
What is it?
Weird, alternate history 1960s England sets the stage for a tale of trying to avoid annoying the local populace as you attempt to escape from their masked dystopia. They really don’t like you acting out as they’re all addicted to a pill called Joy that lets them forget what happened in their town when the Nazis invaded. Stealth via pretending, rather than actual skulking, with a new town generated each time you fail.

All We Happy Few posts.

ARK: Survival Evolved

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
June 2016
What is it?
It’s a dinosaur survival sim but no, come back, it almost certainly won’t be abandoned into obscurity, nothingness and eventually removal from Steam. Already with a number of systems in place, the aim is to go from naked nobody on a mysterious island to researching technology and riding dinosaurs around dodging space lasers and fighting dragons. A natural path.

All ARK: Survival Evolved posts.

Better Late Than DEAD

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
July 9th 2015
What is it?
Going into Early Access, this island survival game is very careful not to use the word zombie anywhere in its description. Mysterious animals, a loss of memory and a photograph found on your person are the only hints as to what’s going on.

Dead Sea

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
Q4
What is it?
Desert-based survival in a large open world. Not proving too popular with its Early Access audience so far, it’s clearly fairly incomplete. Eventually the plan is to have multiple storylines to follow and large bosses to fight, along with all the usual survival elements.

Resident Evil Zero HD

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
Uprezzed version of the mediocrely received prequel to the spider-web-huge series. Capcom have got the original game director back to work on it but there’s no details on what they’ll change.

All Resident Evil Zero HD posts.

Asteroids: Outpost

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Equal parts good idea for a space-rock dodging survival game and cynical slapping of a popular name on something. You’re up there to make your fortune, with a gold rush narrative focusing on hunks of metal hurling through space at thousands of kilometers an hour rather than small rivers.

All Asteroids: Outpost posts.

Ashen Falls

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Concept-stage but very pretty abandoned-town survival horror starring a lost teen girl. The backstory of a lost love and aesthetic are very Silent Hill but, based on the art at least, it could serve as an acceptable substitute to the sadly dead Kojima/Del Toro project.

All Asen Falls posts.

Child of Cooper

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
From the evil minds behind Shelter comes this story of a child unable to understand the world around them or the situation they are in. Exactly how this will play out is being kept under wraps, but there’s promises of lots of weird goings on and rarely directly telling the player anything, leaving everything up to your interpretation.

All Child of Cooper posts.

H1Z1

Official site

Genre
Survival, Early Access
Release date
Q4
What is it?
The first big-budget shot at the Day Z early access crown from Daybreak Games (previously Sony Online Entertainment) those behind Planetside, Everquest and others. Currently a paid for beta of sorts, it will launch as free to play.

H1Z1 feature.
All H1Z1 posts.

Noct

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
Top-down spooky monster blasting with a washed out and staticy pallette. After Cthulian beasts plunge Earth into darkness you’re one of the few survivors trying to make their way in the world.

All Noct posts.

Reverse Side

Official site

Genre
Survival Horror, Space
Release date
July 2015
What is it?
After contact is lost with a secret moonbased established around a crashed alien vessel, you’re sent to find out what is wrong. Naturally, your lunar module crashes when landing and everyone in your team is killed. Spooky goings on far from breathable atmosphere abound.

Out of Reach

Official site

Genre
Survival, Online
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
As a pirate stranded on an island after a big storm, you’ve got to find supplies, build shelter, keep yourself warm and find something to eat. Then deal with the dozens of other players on the island trying to do exactly the same thing.

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